Three of many…
Ethics Dunce: ABC’s Byron Pitts
A friend posted on Facebook yesterday that she was “disgusted” by all the white people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats around the Capitol yesterday. This struck me as akin to the joke about the boy who murdered his parents seeking mercy from the court because he was an orphan. African Americans, especially around D.C., have been urged and in many cases bullied to boycott everything having to do with Trump, and now people like my friend are suggesting that blacks are being excluded, proving the racism of the new President.
I actually deleted a section that said: “Just watch: some inveterate news media race-baiter will cite the abundance of whites to impugn Trump and Republicans. Which will it be?” The answer, we now know, is Byron Pitts. Virtually the entire Congressional Black Caucus boycotted the event, blacks who expressed support for Trump or even hinted that the supported the Inauguration faced shunning and threats, and this guy had the gall to say, during the ABC coverage today,
“Think about this crowd and think about the divided America. We talked about the noise of the racial divide, this is the whisper of the racial divide in America. Think back to when President Obama took office for the first time. How diverse the crowd was. You saw the rainbow of America. Today this looks like the ice cream of America. Right? It is an overwhelmingly white audience.”
What does that tell Pitts? It tells me that one segment in society is willing to put color and politics aside and support a duly elected leader, and one is not.
Ethics Dunce: George Will
Going out of his way to illustrate Clemenceau’s quip about the man who knows everything and understands nothing, Will dashed out an op-ed today that pronounced Trump‘s inaugural address “the most dreadful” one in history. Really? I’ve read every inaugural address ever given, and most of them are unreadable, and were presumably unlistenable as well. Try this collection of Authentic Frontier Gibberish by Franklin Pierce, or this marathon speech by William Henry Harrison (which more or less killed him), or this high-minded drivel by Woodrow Wilson on his first Inauguration Day. Earlier today in a comment thread I referenced Andrew Jackson’s first such address, wondering if the closest President to Trump in terms of gaining power through a populist wave was similarly direct in challenging the establishment. No, Andy just lied through his teeth. Does George consider a dishonest address less dreadful than an honest one? It would seem so.
George is a smart and learned man, but also sometimes a pompous pedant, and he clearly wishes that Trump would express himself like, well, someone else. He mocks Trump’s trademark hyperbole and imprecision, with one quote:
“….an education system producing students “deprived of all knowledge.” Yes, all.”
Let me translate that for you George: he’s saying the public schools suck, and he’s right. Clear now?
Quick: give me a single memorable line from any Inaugural address in the last fifty years without hitting Google. Off the top of my head, I can think of three Inaugural addresses in U.S. history that mattered: Lincoln’s second, FDR’s first (“The only thing we have to fear…”) and Kennedy’s (“Ask not what your country can do for you…”).
Trump’s matters too. He laid out clear and ambitious goals without equivocation, in language that anyone, even Will, should understand. None of it will be remembered if Trump, as most expect and I’m sure Will is certain of, falls flat on his face. This line, however, (The text is here) will be remembered if he can somehow succeed:
“We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over.”
Ethics Dunces: MSNBC
The Inauguration coverage, which I could only check into for brief spurts, was so unprofessional, unfair and unethical that it can’t even qualify as news coverage. This was an all-day Trump-bashing festival for Trump haters. In particular, the crew led by Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow continued to push the Trump as fascist smear. The low point was probably this (which I was lucky enough to miss)…
Maddow: It’s going to be an unusual arrangement with Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, it will be an unusual triumvirate around this president. We don’t really know who will be first among those equals.”
Matthews : It’s hard to fire your son-in-law, that’s the tricky part. Although Mussolini had a great solution to that. He had them executed.”
Maddow: Jesus, Chris.
Matthews: So if I were Jared, I’d be a little careful.
Such disrespect, on a new President’s first day in office. What a hateful, biased, unprofessional place MSNBC is.